Optimising Kitchen Storage
Optimising Kitchen Storage
June 12, 2023
Whether it’s a compact kitchen or a large lifestyle kitchen, the key to optimising kitchen storage lies in detailing and customising to suit the user’s preferences and requirements
Planning an ideal kitchen is a complex process as a kitchen involves multiple functions. Moreover, no two kitchens are the same and involve a lot of customisation to suit the users’ lifestyle, food habits and requirements. The storage requirements for a traditional household would be different from the ones designed for nuclear families. While some households would store groceries for say about a year, some would barely store a month’s requirement or less.
Various factors like the user's lifestyle, how often they are cooking, the number of family members and the size of the kitchen and the apartment/house as a whole would determine storage requirements. In some traditional households, there is a separate granary room for storage and it extends beyond the kitchen whereas. In the more compact apartments, even home appliances are to be fitted in the kitchen itself.
Kitchens in metros are becoming really compact and thus optimum utilisation of space is a must. “A standard kitchen design has the potential to cause wastage if optimum user movement, ergonomics and accessibility are not taken into consideration at an early stage,” opines Frank Schloeder, Managing Director, Hafele South Asia.
Usually, the first rule of designing a kitchen like that is to utilise the volume of the kitchen area, by increasing the height of the storage units. Photo Courtesy: Hafele
He further adds, “It is important to select the right kitchen layout for the available space, consider the user’s needs and then determine the right flow of work where the user has everything within reach with optimum movement. Once the layout and placement of work areas (like cooking zone, preparation zone, cleaning zone etc) are decided, it is important to build the furniture for each work area with the best possible ergonomics that allow easy access to all the areas that are frequently accessed.”
Oft-ignored Spaces for Storage
Schloeder lists down areas of the kitchen which are usually ignored while planning a kitchen but can prove to be of utmost importance while working in it.
· Kitchen Corners – Kitchen corners are often considered dead spaces and the furniture options in this area are often just deep inaccessible cabinets that lack ergonomics. The corners can in fact be equipped with easy pull-out storage systems, the mechanisms of which bring all the storage contents closer to the user with easy motion-enhancing convenience.
· Under Sink –Under Sink Cabinets prove to be one of the most useful spaces if equipped with the right fittings; the area can be used for storing waste management systems, dishwasher soap and detergent, cleaning equipment and tools, under-counter water purifier etc.
"A standard kitchen design has the potential to cause wastage if optimum user movement, ergonomics and accessibility are not taken into consideration at an early stage. It is important to select the right kitchen layout for the available space, consider the user’s needs and then determine the right flow of work where the user has everything within reach with optimum movement."
Hafele South Asia
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· Back Splashes – Kitchen Back Splashes when equipped with Midway systems can provide easy access to frequently used items such as paper towels, oil and spice bottles, knives, utensil cleaning solutions etc.
· Plinth and Skirtings –Under the Kitchen cabinets, the plinth area is usually an empty space covered by a decorative skirting panel. This empty space can be utilised to store cleaning tools like brooms, mops and ladders if equipped with fittings such as Hafele’s Blink Magnetic Connector that connects the skirting panel to the plinth legs via a magnetic mechanism making it easy to attach and detach the skirting.
· Wall Space – In order to gain more storage area, the customer may also choose to go for taller wall cabinets with lift systems that allow single opening access to cabinets as tall as 1040mm.
"In a larger kitchen, the sky is the limit for a designer. We need it to be well utilised, but leave enough room for it to look spacious and inviting. Creating a Scala storage tower for a well-stocked kitchen, enhancing the art of cooking with the cooking agent, bespoke kitchen islands, walls being creatively and functionally integrated through the Tark system etc are all things we can introduce."
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